Whats a birthday without cake True confections to be auctioned off

“Let them eat cake” is not a phrase that preceded a pleasant moment in history. John Dellar would like to take it a little further though. Not only does he hope the general population will eat cake, he intends to make them pay top dollar for it.

Dellar is the organizer of the Israel in the Gardens cake auction. He asked 15 Bay Area chefs to tax their imaginations and craft elaborate — and, needless to say, delicious — birthday cakes.

This is a bit of a change for Dellar, who chairs the homeless shelter food program Hamotzi at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. But the money raised from the cake silent auction also goes to a good cause: Operation Atzmaut, which aids Ethiopian Israelis living in Sderot.

During the June 1 celebration, the cakes will be available for public viewing (and bidding) at the Metreon, on the second floor near the Action Theatre. Yet what we will see remains a mystery — two participating chefs told j. they are still bandying about ideas.

“I’m thinking of a getting a Star of David raised out of the cake on an angle with a rainbow coming out of it. I might use chocolate cake just because it’s something sturdy. And for frosting, I think I’ll use butter cream and cover some of it with fondant,” a pliable sugar dough, said Mica Talmor-Gott of Savoy Catering in Oakland.

Well, at least that’s the preliminary plan for Talmor-Gott, who hails from Qiryat Bialak, between Haifa and Acco. And, one must admit, that would be an elaborate cake — but not nearly as elaborate as some of Talmor-Gott’s other confections.

For a San Francisco Museum of Modern Art soiree marking the 100th birthday of Ansel Adams, Talmor-Gott recreated one of the photographer’s signature shots of Yosemite. A creek flowed between two cake mountains, with chunks of chocolate serving as boulders and meringue standing in for the snow-capped peaks. And the plates Talmor-Gott used to serve the cake? That’s right, big slabs of redwood.

Mary Sperber from San Francisco’s Town’s End restaurant is still brainstorming a theme that would “unite San Francisco and Israel,” but she hasn’t gotten anything down in frosting yet.

Sperber leans toward round cakes rather than rectangular — “I think they’re prettier” — and will use only natural colors and flavors. This is an obstacle when creating sweets that resemble other objects, though she has crafted a cake in the shape of an office building for a local law firm.

Sperber — who lists her most unusual cake experience as creating a multitiered wedding cake and shipping it, in parts, to Japan — will likely garnish her Israel cake with fresh fruits, greenery or herbs. An orange cake would be fitting — particularly Jaffa oranges — and Sperber has cooked with Israeli tomatoes (“There is such a thing as a tomato cake — but would that be too weird?”).

None of the chefs contacted by j. wanted to create a cake in the shape of Israel, however: “What borders would I put on?” queried Talmor-Gott. “That’s a political question.”

For more information on the cake auction, visit www.israelcentersf.org.